The UK is to invest £21.5m (~€24.5m) in expanding capabilities and reducing costs of technology to capture industrial carbon dioxide emissions.
Technology which can capture industrial carbon dioxide emissions, and then either store this waste CO2 in underground formations, or develop it into new products, has been a priority area for the UK government since COP21 in 2015. The country views carbon capture, utilisation and storage as part of its wider efforts to reduce environmental CO2.
However, CCUS must be deployed on a wider scale if the UK is to meet its environmental targets. The investment of an additional £21.5m for cutting edge products to make carbon capture more efficient and effective is one way in which the UK aims to achieve this.
How will the investment be allocated?
The funding will be targeted towards innovations which could reduce the cost of CCUS technology, to make the process more commercially viable at scale. There are currently 22 plants in operation, working to capture industrial carbon dioxide emissions, but with wider implementation, the UK could become a world leader in the technology.
The government will issue a call for CCUS innovation projects lasting up to 28 months, worth £15m in grants. Projects will be able to apply for grants of up to £5m each. An additional £6.5m has been committed to the Accelerating Carbon Technologies research programme, on which the UK partners with nine other European countries to innovate in the carbon emissions sector.
How does the funding support the UK’s ambitions?
The UK’s Energy and Clean Growth minister, Claire Perry, welcomed the new investment as a vital element of the UK’s modern industrial strategy, and also emphasised the role new CCUS projects could play in meeting the country’s ambitious Paris Climate Agreement targets.
She stated: “My ambition is for the UK to become a global technology leader in carbon capture, working with international partners to reduce its costs. As the UK has led the debate globally on tackling climate change and pioneering clean growth, we are leading this global challenge with an initial £21.5 million investment in CCUS innovation – a key part of our modern industrial strategy.”